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10/30/2014 3:55:04 PM
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Saber329
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Posted: 4/9/2013 8:31:29 AM
When it comes to degreasing firearms, is there any major differences between using Acetone or Odorless Mineral Spirits?

I'll be honest, I haven't had time to research this morning, but what is the differences between the two?
tbougie1
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Posted: 4/9/2013 8:51:14 AM
how about reading the same post 3 down from yours..
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Him
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Posted: 4/9/2013 12:04:11 PM
Stay away from acetone.
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Saber329
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Posted: 4/9/2013 12:37:55 PM
Originally Posted By tbougie1:
how about reading the same post 3 down from yours..


That's what led to the question, the thread doesn't explain the difference.

I was able to do some brief reading this morning and it appears Acetone in a heavy-duty degreaser.



tbougie1
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Posted: 4/9/2013 1:01:56 PM
Acetone is terrible on your skin and it vapors are dangerous. OMS still has an odor but not near as bad as acetone..

use both in ventilated areas

How bad is the grease? Will NCBC?
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dfariswheel
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Posted: 4/9/2013 1:34:33 PM
Acetone, or just lacquer thinner is an excellent cleaner/degreaser, and has some "brightening" ability for metals like brass.
It cleans fast and well and evaporates quickly with no residue.

The big down side is the explosive flammability. Use it outside, away from pilot lights or any possibility of sparks or flame.

If you have an ultrasonic cleaner and understand just how flammable it is, you can put an inch or so of water in the ultrasonic tank and put small containers with Acetone in the tank. The water will pass the ultrasonic waves through metal, plastic, or glass containers.
This allows cleaning small parts in the ultrasonic but limit the amount that might ignite.
Saber329
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Posted: 4/9/2013 4:59:29 PM
[Last Edit: 4/9/2013 4:59:56 PM by Saber329]
From your replies and some of the reading I've done it appears that 91% Isopropyl alcohol may be the best compromise for a degreaser that will not leave a film behind.

A little searching revealed that Isopropyl alcohol can be purchased as high as 99.95%.

Thanks all.
1911man6910
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Posted: 4/9/2013 9:02:43 PM
The best degreaser I have found to date is brake cleaner. Give some a try, its dirt cheap so if you dont like it, no big deal.
strat81
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Posted: 4/9/2013 11:18:43 PM
[Last Edit: 4/9/2013 11:20:23 PM by strat81]
OMS take too long too evaporate and does not cut grease the way acetone does. I greatly prefer acetone if I need to soak or wipe down a part for degreasing. YMMV.

While acetone isn't the safest product around, it is safely used all over the country in nail salons - it is frequently the main (and sometimes sole) ingredient in nail polish remover. That said, if I'm working with acetone or any solvent, I wear a respirator. Killed too many brain cells with lacquer once and vowed not to do that again.

The bad thing about acetone is that it may harm certain plastics (but not all). But, the same can be said for other solvents such as brake cleaner.

If you're considering alcohol, denatured alcohol is available by the gallon in the paint supplies aisle near the acetone. It'll be much cheaper than isopropanol from the drug store.

Lacquer thinner, MEK, ethanol, isopropanol, acetone, OMS, gasoline, brake cleaner, kerosene, diesel... all of these have varying degrees of solvent strength and may or may not leave a film. Some are very unhealthy to work with (MEK) and some are explosive (gasoline). Know the product you are working with and take the proper safety precautions. Eye, ear, and lung protection are must with most of them.
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N1150x
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Posted: 4/24/2013 3:11:18 PM
Acetone is probably the safest solvent you can use and will work well. Other solvents might work better but Acetone is a common bioligical intermediate like glucose meaning it doesn't get trapped in your body or converted to a toxic substance. I would wear gloves because soaking your hands in acetone can defat skin tissues and dry your skin out. However, you will not have the increased cancer risk associated with degresers such as dichloromethane or benzene.
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AR-4C
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Posted: 4/24/2013 4:39:16 PM
[Last Edit: 4/24/2013 4:40:04 PM by AR-4C]
I'm a welder, and can certify to NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER use a brake cleaner that is chlorinated when cleaning firearms. You risk the chance of the chlorine converting to phosgene gas wherever high heat exists. Even after thinking all the brake cleaner has evaporated; there is still a chance of some being left behind that you cannot see. Just make sure the brake cleaner is non-chlorinated if you want to use a brake cleaner to degrease, because just a tiny bit of phosgene inhaled can cause from organ failure to even death.

http://www.brewracingframes.com/id75.htm

SandWMandP15Tee
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Posted: 4/24/2013 4:59:42 PM
Whats so hard about just using Hoppes ?
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AR-4C
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Posted: 4/24/2013 5:04:48 PM
[Last Edit: 4/24/2013 5:05:26 PM by AR-4C]
Originally Posted By SandWMandP15Tee:
Whats so hard about just using Hoppes ?


The post is in regards to a degreaser, which Hoppes is not going to degrease being a solvent/oil.
raymondj441
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Posted: 4/24/2013 9:38:05 PM
Be double sure to check for any hidden plastic parts before degreasing. A plastic part won't tolerate the acetone bath, nor will many night sights.
strat81
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Posted: 4/25/2013 9:45:25 PM
Originally Posted By raymondj441:
Be double sure to check for any hidden plastic parts before degreasing. A plastic part won't tolerate the acetone bath, nor will many night sights.


Depends on the type of plastic. Same caveat applies to brake cleaner.
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pat701
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Posted: 4/26/2013 12:40:29 PM
I have soaked BCG for days in mineral sprits, nothing, zero! Try brake cleaner at $3.50 a can!!!
Kerensky
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Posted: 4/27/2013 2:45:17 PM
[Last Edit: 4/27/2013 10:20:30 PM by Kerensky]
Indeed, if you read the MSDS for acetone, it is generally one of the safest solvents for how strong it is, scoring only a 1 out of 4 for health risks associated with its use. I would advise the use of gloves, nitrile or similar, not mainly because of the drying effect acetone will have on your skin but more so that whatever you dissolve with the acetone may have harmful effects and could leach through skin. Ventilation is really the main precaution to take with it's use.

Acetone MSDS

Most quality polymers used for gun furniture and accessories won't be affected by acetone, but always be sure to check in an inconspicuous spot first. An easy way to do that is with a cotton swab. Just wet the tip and touch it to whatever you want to test and give it a little swirl. If you see the surface become cloudy and some color show up on the swab, the acetone will attack that material.

It is fantastic at degreasing, cleaning carbon residue, and removing paints (Krylon for example), or duracoat and gun-kote if need be.

K
strat81
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Posted: 4/29/2013 11:59:46 AM
Originally Posted By Kerensky:
It is fantastic at degreasing, cleaning carbon residue, and removing paints (Krylon for example), or duracoat and gun-kote if need be.


I've tried acetone on Gunkote and the acetone did nothing.

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Kerensky
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Posted: 4/30/2013 1:09:59 AM
Originally Posted By strat81:
I've tried acetone on Gunkote and the acetone did nothing.


Ah, good to know. I had heard that it would take it off, but never had first hand experience. Thanks.

K
JLMXD
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Posted: 4/30/2013 8:15:30 PM
I have never used acetone but I have had experience with mineral spirits. From my personal experience the mineral spirits were not much of a help in breaking down the carbon. I personally think hoppes #9 works much better than Min Spirits. just my experience, your results may differ.
freefly
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Posted: 5/3/2013 7:04:05 PM
[Last Edit: 5/3/2013 7:05:20 PM by freefly]
Originally Posted By strat81:
I've tried acetone on Gunkote and the acetone did nothing.

Acetone works best after letting soak for a while (several hours, typically). As mentioned, it is probably one of the better/safer things to use as a de-greaser or paint remover.

Also, FYI: I have soaked almost every AR15 "plastic" part you can imagine (grips, hand-guards, stocks, etc.) in acetone and never had any problems. I have removed Duracoat off of several items successfully with acetone as well. Keep in mind, the tougher (epoxy) coatings will not just "fall off", and a fair amount of elbow-grease is usually required (nylon/wire brush, scotch-brite, etc. depending on the application). YMMV.